Closing The Deal – A rejection-proof strategy

February 27, 2020
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You have your first-choice candidate, your financial offer is solid, but you can’t get that candidate to commit. There are a number of issues that could deter candidates from accepting your offer. But how do you get them to say yes?

Having a top candidate refuse a firm offer is a waste of time and energy and a possible reputational risk. Ian Taylor of Sheffield / AltoPartners New Zealand, has the following advice for organisations wishing to be spared the pain of rejection:

  • Candidates need to be assured they will have the opportunity to be successful. The communication process (whether that is through the recruiter or the client company) must be aligned to selling the company to the candidate, to assure them the role will be challenging, well-resourced, and well-rewarded.
  • A supportive environment is key. Candidates are likely to ask themselves: Is the company and its values going to support me and get me out of bed in the morning? Will I be working with like-minded individuals who are inspiring, helpful and collaborative? The company, and by extension, the search firm, needs to have an authentic narrative promoting these factors.
  • Can they walk the talk? Somewhere in the process, the candidate must have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the person they’re reporting to (as well as others in the company) so that they gain a genuine sense of the role and the organisation.
  • Pre-empt counter-offers. To avoid counter-offers from derailing the process, the company needs to ensure they’re meeting the expectations of the candidate with an alignment between what the candidate is seeking and what is actually offered. A lack of transparency can kill the deal and sets the scene for a successful counter-offer from the candidate’s current employer.
  • Successful organisations do their due diligence. Both the client company and the search firm need to ensure they’ve done their homework around remuneration and job flexibility market trends and listen to the candidate signals. If companies aren’t prepared to customise (to a degree) around development, holidays, flexible arrangements and salary expectations, they run the risk of losing good candidates. Clients may also need to do due diligence on the candidate and their intentions to ensure they’re genuine and not just “fishing”.
  • So do candidates. Red flags are raised when these factors are NOT in place, or if there is a clear lack of thought gone into the role. In a competitive market like today that’s simply not good enough – good candidates will want a chance to do their due diligence, and if they don’t like what they find, the client may lose a potential employee.
  • Look at the bigger picture. Try to ensure as much as possible the candidates are communicating with their family or partners about the process, of which the end result may require a change in salary, location or hours. we’ve seen plenty of dealbreakers arise when candidates skip this step.